the pros at the second annual Purdue Guitar Workshop, held July 14-18.
Music aficionados can learn from industry professionals how to craft, engineer and customize their own solid-body electric guitar. Two instructors from last year, Tim Shaw, principal engineer at Fender Guitars, and Kevin Beller, vice president of Seymour Duncan, will return for this year's workshop.
The class will meet daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Knoy Hall of Technology, Room 106, and Michael Golden Labs, rooms 1208 and B217.
The $1,295 fee includes all materials and supplies. Purdue employees can receive a $150 discount. Workshop participants will learn the practical and technical aspects of making guitars. The class is not for credit, and no previous experience with guitar making is necessary.
"It's really a guitar-maker's fantasy camp, and this year's workshop is going to be bigger and better," said Mark French, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology and workshop organizer. "Last year was a great success, but now we've had a chance to make some improvements that will make the workshop even more beneficial."
Attendees will receive a complete kit of materials, including a guitar body and neck with most of the machining already completed. Participants will then be able to tailor the final shape of the body and neck, as well as add other custom touches, such as paint.
"This year, Taylor Guitars will provide instruction on ultraviolet paint finishing for the guitars," French said. "This technique allows the guitar to be painted, then exposed to a light box that dries the paint in about a minute as opposed to the 24 hours or more that traditional methods take."
French said the new machines he acquired will expose the participants to the latest in advanced manufacturing equipment. In addition to improved lighting and new work benches, the laboratory now features a CNC laser cutter, a sander, a saw planer and an additional CNC router.
Taylor Guitars, Seymour Duncan, Fender, Stewart MacDonald, Cole Hardwood and Irwin Industrial Tools are sponsoring the workshop and supplying equipment. For an additional cost, Stewart MacDonald has agreed to provide guitar toolkits that participants can purchase at the end of the workshop.
Several Purdue faculty also will be on hand to share their expertise in advanced manufacturing, guitar making and musical acoustics. One is French, who has visited Taylor Guitars' headquarters in El Cajon, Calif., doing structural dynamics testing on about 60 acoustic guitars as they came through Taylor's factory. French also teaches a class during the academic year on instrument manufacturing and testing in which students build and test an acoustic guitar.
Brad Harriger, a professor of manufacturing engineering technology, will offer insights on advanced manufacturing processes. Richard Couch, director of engagement at Purdue's Center for Advanced Manufacturing, will draw on his years of experience in large-scale manufacturing and also is a skilled guitarist, having played in bands for 30 years.
Those interested in registering can fill out a form, which can be found at https://www.cec.purdue.edu/regforms/Guitar%20Reg%20Form.pdf. More information also can be found on the Purdue Conferences Web site at https://www.cec.purdue.edu/eC2K/Upcoming.asp , then clicking on Purdue Guitar Workshop.